The Cat House

Built in 1550, the Cat House is named after the metal cats that adorn the outside of the building. This beautiful Grade II Listed timber-framed building was once owned by Bob Ward, a local eccentric, back in the 18th century who decorated his house with cats to seek revenge for the death of a beloved pet.

The story goes that Nathaniel Woodard, founder of the famous Woodard schools, had a pet cat which killed one of Ward’s canaries. In response, Ward placed the metal cats (depicted with a canary in their paws) around his cottage, and connected them with a string of bells. Whenever Woodard walked by, the bells would chime as a reminder of the canary’s death. This house is now an iconic Henfield building.